Statement from Vice President Joe Biden on Human Rights Day

Joe Biden
3 min readDec 10, 2019

Jill and I join communities across the United States and around the world in marking Human Rights Day — an opportunity to affirm our fundamental belief in the rights, freedoms, and dignity of all people.

Seventy-one years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Then, as now, the notion that every individual is created equal and enjoys fundamental human rights was a contested idea. Yet thanks to the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the drafting committee, the United States helped rally the world behind a common understanding of our shared humanity, one rooted in our own founding documents.

Today, that basic truth — that fundamental idea at the foundation of free societies everywhere — is under vicious assault. It is under threat by a resurgence of illiberalism, nationalism, and authoritarianism. It is in peril from Donald Trump and demagogues around the world who are leaning into these forces for their own personal and political gain.

Globally, we are witnessing an assault on vulnerable communities, including through Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. A million or more Uighurs languish in detention camps in China and many Rohingya live in abject conditions in Bangladesh, while peaceful demonstrators in Iraq and Iran come under fire from their own government’s armed forces. Protesters from Algeria to Venezuela are showing their frustration with socio-economic and political systems that fail to protect universal human rights and allow them to live with dignity.

The Trump administration is too often silent in the face of this tide of tyranny, while President Trump himself warmly embraces some of the world’s most odious dictators.

As we confront these challenges, we must recognize that American leadership on human rights must begin at home — in the way that we treat our neighbors and those most vulnerable among us. While the Trump administration has trampled our core values here and abroad, our long history of championing liberty and justice will not be denied.

As president, I will take decisive steps to demonstrate that America is prepared to lead again — not just with the example of our power, but the power of our example. We will recommit…

Joe Biden

Husband to Jill, proud father and grandfather. Ready to build back better for all Americans. Join our campaign: